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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

Main | Family List (MO) | Family List (INBio) | Cutting Edge
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The Cutting Edge

Volume VI, Number 1, January 1999

News and Notes | Recent Treatments | Leaps and Bounds | German Literature

The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. 1998. An ordinal classification for the families of flowering plants. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 85: 531--553.

This ballyhooed contribution, expanding on the pioneering work of Kåre Bremer (UPS) and associates, is an early attempt at a higher classification of flowering plants based largely on molecular phylogenetic analyses. The "primary focus is on orders with a secondary emphasis on families." No attempt was made "to thoroughly revise family circumscriptions"; instead, recent authors were generally followed. Thus, this paper presumably embodies a convenient summary of family concepts that have recently gained currency within the phylogenetic community. While ordinal classification is beyond the scope of this newsletter, we are always much interested in keeping abreast of familial classification. Apparently we have not done such a great job, though, because there are some big surprises for us.

The general tendency here is toward lumping mono- and oligotypic families when possible, but some are kept distinct, including: Agapanthaceae (from Alliaceae and Amaryllidaceae), Avicenniaceae (from Lamiaceae and Verbenaceae), Buddlejaceae and Plocospermataceae (both from Loganiaceae), Celtidaceae (from Ulmaceae), Cochlospermaceae (from Bixaceae), Escalloniaceae and Phyllonomaceae (both from Grossulariaceae), Hydroleaceae (from Hydrophyllaceae/Boraginaceae), Lacistemataceae (from Flacourtiaceae), Limnocharitaceae (from Alismataceae), Memecylaceae (from Melastomataceae), Metteniusaceae (from Icacinaceae), Muntingiaceae (from Elaeocarpaceae and Tiliaceae), Pellicieraceae and Ternstroemiaceae (both from Theaceae), Picramniaceae (from Simaroubaceae), Schlegeliaceae (from Bignoniaceae and Scrophulariaceae), Simmondsiaceae (from Buxaceae), Siparunaceae (from Monimiaceae), Sphenocleaceae (from Campanulaceae), Stegnospermataceae (from Phytolaccaceae), Thismiaceae (from Burmanniaceae), Tovariaceae (from Capparidaceae/Brassicaceae), and Tristichaceae (from Podostemaceae).

Greater surprises are perhaps found among the families that have been submerged, including: Bombacaceae, Sterculiaceae, and Tiliaceae (all into Malvaceae), Brunelliaceae (into Cunoniaceae), Cabombaceae (into Nymphaeaceae), Callitrichaceae (into Plantaginaceae!), Capparidaceae (or is it Capparaceae?; into Brassicaceae), Chenopodiaceae (into Amaranthaceae), Desfontainiaceae (from Loganiaceae into the formerly monogeneric Columelliaceae), Dracaenaceae (into Convallariaceae), Eremolepidaceae and Viscaceae (both into Santalaceae), Hippocastanaceae (into Sapindaceae), Hippocrateaceae (into Celastraceae), Hydrocotylaceae (from Apiaceae into Araliaceae), Hydrophyllaceae (into Boraginaceae), Lemnaceae (into Araceae), Lomandraceae (including Cordyline, into Laxmanniaceae), Najadaceae (into Hydrocharitaceae), Phormiaceae (into Hemerocallidaceae), Potaliaceae (from Loganiaceae into Gentianaceae), Punicaceae (into Lythraceae), Rhinanthaceae (from Scrophulariaceae into Orobanchaceae), Sambucaceae and Viburnaceae (both from Caprifoliaceae into Adoxaceae), and Viticaceae (from Verbenaceae into Lamiaceae).

All of this progess is well and good but, from the perspective of flora writers, difficult to accommodate. First, the classification is still half-baked. The authors discuss several examples of potentially non-monophyletic families that cannot yet be resolved, including Boraginaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Santalaceae, and Scrophulariaceae. Numerous families have still not been assigned to any order, and 25 are of altogether uncertain position. These last include Balanophoraceae, Elatinaceae, Lepidobotryaceae, and Metteniusaceae. The position of these families, once known, could affect the classification of other groups. Second, novel or non-traditional family concepts based on molecular analyses may be (at least temporarily) refractory to conventional treatment. Diagnostic morphological characters may be lacking or, at least, unknown; as the authors point out, "synapomorphies...often include (sometimes exclusively) anatomical, biochemical, and developmental characters," features that cannot usually not be employed in keys designed for field identification. Comprehensive descriptions of these families may not exist, and would then have to be cobbled together laboriously. Sometimes, even the full generic composition may be unclear, in the case of families circumscribed on the basis of studies involving only certain, "representative" genera. This paper provides few direct clues as to the generic composition of families; indeed, in a few cases (e.g., Lamiaceae, Verbenaceae) wholesale changes in composition are virtually undetectable.

Clearly, this is the first wave in a sea change that will eventually produce a robust new classification that can be embraced (at least in its broad strokes) by the entire botanical community. However, in order for such a classification to be accepted and implemented by flora writers, it must be fully realized and presented in book form, à la Cronquist, rigorously defended and documented, with reworked ordinal and familial descriptions and exhaustive cross-referencing down to the generic level. The authors of this work are to be commended, we feel, for retaining Linnaean categories, and for an honest, sensible, and explicit discussion of their classificatory criteria ("monophyly in combination with the desirability of maintaining already well established and familiar entities," with a preference to lump rather than split), which essentially coincide with our own.

Austin, D. F. 1998. Xixicamátic or wood rose (Merremia tuberosa, Convolvulaceae): origins and dispersal. Econ. Bot. 52: 412--422.
The pantropical but widely introduced Merremia tuberosa (L.) Rendle is believed to be native only in Mexico and Central America (including Costa Rica), apparently corresponding to the range of the sp.-specific seed predator Megacerus capreolus (Jakel) (Coleoptera: Bruchidae). The worldwide distribution of M. tuberosa is mapped on the basis of herbarium records. A cladistic analysis suggests that the sister-taxon of M. tuberosa is M. discoidesperma (Donn. Sm.) O'Donell, of southern Mexico and Central America.
Aymard C., G. 1998. Canavalia rosea (Sw.) DC. versus Canavalia maritima (Aubl.) Thouars (Papilionoideae). Ernstia 8(1): 19--25.
This pantropical, littoral herb has long been known by both of the above names, i.e., mainly as C. maritima, in the New World, and as C. rosea, in the Old World. Pivotal to Aymard's argument is his realization that Thouars's (1813) C. maritima, based on Asian material, was the name of a new species, and not a transfer of Aublet's (1775) Dolichos maritimus, based on a South American collection; the same epithet was evidently chosen coincidentally. Because Thouars's name blocks any subsequent transfer of Aublet's D. maritimus to Canavalia, C. rosea (based on Dolichos roseus Sw., 1788) must prevail. This is apparently old news by now, as the name Canavalia rosea is already used in The plant-book and in the INBio/Manual database. Thanks to Jorge Gómez-Laurito (USJ) for bringing this report to our attention.
Berg, C. C. 1998. 27B. Moraceae (excl. Ficus). In, G. Harling & L. Andersson (eds.), Flora of Ecuador 60: 1--126. Göteborg Univ., Sweden.
Here we learn that Batocarpus costaricensis Standl. & L. O. Williams, which we had believed endemic to Costa Rica or at least southern Central America, occurs disjunctly in the western Amazon basin from Ecuador to Bolivia.
Bock, I. 1995. Pleurothallis canaligera Rchb. f.--kleine Kostbarkeit neu für Costa Rica. Orchidee (Hamburg) 46: 59--62.
A living plant in the author's collection, here depicted in color photographs, was allegedly collected from cloud-forest at 1350 m elevation in the Cordillera Central. No herbarium material is cited (and no reputable scientific journal would have published this report). In German.
----. 1997. Maxillaria admonens Bock, eine neue Art aus Costa Rica. Orchidee (Hamburg) 48: 105--107.
Maxillaria admonens I. Bock sp. nov. (Orchidaceae) is known only by live material cultivated by the author and originally collected (supposedly) at 1800 m elevation in the "Cerros de Tarbaca" by the late Clarence Horich. It is compared with M. bracteata (Schltr.) Ames & Correll and M. gomeziana J. T. Atwood. Features a composite line-drawing, and color photos from life. A holotype was deposited at HAL, and no isotypes were prepared. In German.
----. 1998. Ponthieva maculata Lindl. und Ponthieva brenesii Schltr. kritisch betrachtet. Orchidee (Hamburg) 49: 2--6.
A comparison of quasi-vouchered living plants in the author's collection leads to the conclusion that two spp. are involved here, though P. brenesii has often been considered a synonym of P. maculata. Illustrated with line-drawings and color photos from life. See Dressler's more authoritative study (Bol. Inst. Bot. Univ. Guadalajara 5: 69--85. 1998), reported in our last issue, which likewise supported the distinctness of P. brenesii.
Brummitt, R. K. 1998. Report of the Committee for Spermatophyta: 47. Taxon 47: 863--872.
Among the recommendations reported here are several pertinent to Costa Rican floristics, but only those impacting the status quo will be mentioned here. The most significant of these is (and the most surprising) is the near-unanimous (1:11) non-recommendation of Bornstein's proposal [Taxon 45: 323--324. 1996; see also The Cutting Edge 3(3): 4. Jul. 1996] to conserve the well-known Sarcorhachis Trel. (Piperaceae) against the obscure Manekia Trel., published just two months earlier. For once, the Committee comes down on the side of priority! (Our Unsolicited View #1: this should be automatic, and there should be no committee). Voting was influenced by a fear that "We could end up with the rule of priority disregarded completely and replaced by endless Committee decisions" (Our Unsolicited View #2: the mere possibility of conservation condemns the Committee to exactly this fate). Some other results: Inga marginata Willd. (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae), an illegitimate synonym of I. fagifolia (L.) Willd. long used for a different sp., is conserved unanimously with a new type that maintains historical usage [N.B.: the name Inga semialata (Vell.) Mart., briefly resurrected by specialist Mario Sousa (MEXU) to replace I. marginata, returns to oblivion]. Rejected unanimously are Inga juglandifolia Willd. and I. pisana G. Don, which had threatened the later I. nobilis Willd. and I. oerstediana Benth., respectively. Less definitive is the 8:4 recommendation to conserve Lagenophora Cass. (Asteraceae) over the original Lagenifera Cass., a proposal "made in the hope of resolving the matter finally" (a similar proposal had failed in 1966). (Our Unsolicited View #3: because unlimited appeals are apparently permitted, there is no hope of "finally" resolving any of these matters. Concerned parties have unlimited time to prepare their proposals. Rulings should be final.)
Columbus, J. T., M. S. Kinney, R. Pant & M. E. Siqueiros Delgado. 1998. Cladistic parsimony analysis of internal transcribed spacer region (nrDNA) sequences of Bouteloua and relatives (Gramineae: Chloridoideae). Aliso 17: 99--130.
In addition to Bouteloua, the analysis included Aegopogon and Pentarrhaphis (to mention only those genera occurring in Costa Rica). Neither Bouteloua s.l. nor either of its two subgenera, Bouteloua and Chondrosium (Desv.) Gould, emerged as monophyletic in this study. Although no new circumsciptions are formally proposed, the authors suggest tentative acceptance of Bouteloua in the broad sense (to include Chondrosum), with no subgenera, pending further investigation. Incidentally, monophyly of Aegopogon, though never seriously questioned, was strongly supported.
Delgado-Salinas, A. 1998. A new combination and a new synonym in Vigna (Fabaceae: Phaseoleae) for the Flora de Nicaragua. Novon 8: 352--353.
The combination Vigna spectabilis (Standl.) A. Delgado, based on Phaseolus spectabilis Standl., is validated for a sp. widespread from southern Mexico to Costa Rica. The name Phaseolus stenolobus Standl. is placed in synonymy under Vigna linearis (Kunth) Maréchal, Mascherpa & Stainier var. latifolia (Benth.) Maréchal, Mascherpa & Stainier, which occurs throughout Mesoamerica and "occasionally" in South America.
Dressler, R. L. 1998. The neotypification of Cattleya deckeri. Lindleyana 13: 219--220.
The name Cattleya deckeri Klotzsch (Orchidaceae), though much applied to a sp. ranging from Costa Rica through northern South America to Trinidad, was based on a collection from Mexico or Guatemala. Here, C. deckeri is neotypified on a collection corresponding to Cattleya xguatemalensis T. Moore, a naturally occurring hybrid swarm ranging from Chiapas to El Salvador. The correct name for the more southern sp. is Cattleya patinii Cogn.
Hauk, W. D. 1998. A review of the genus Paragonia (Bignoniaceae). Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 85: 460--474.
This ditypic, neotropical genus consists of the little-known, Brazilian Paragonia brasiliensis (Baill.) A. H. Gentry and the familiar, widespread P. pyramidata (Rich.) Bureau. The latter occurs in Costa Rica, consistent with previous knowledge, but the author's recognition (contrary to the late Al Gentry) of a South American var. tomentosa Bureau & K. Schum. restricts our material to the autonymic var. Features key to and tabular comparison of spp., lengthy descriptions, specimen citations, distribution map, line drawing of P. pyramidata var. pyramidata, graphical presentation of phenological data, list of nomina nuda, and indices to exsiccatae and scientific names.
Kallunki, J. A. 1998. Revision of Ticorea Aubl. (Rutaceae, Galipeinae). Brittonia 50: 500--513.
Well, we had thought this was germane, but it turns out not to be. This genus of five spp. is now strictly South American, recircumscribed in such a way as to exclude our beloved Ticorea unifoliolata T. S. Elias. We learn under "Excluded Names" that T. unifoliolata is now to be regarded as a synonym of Conchocarpus guyanensis (Pulle) Kallunki & Pirani (Kew Bull. 53: 500. 1998), published in a truly germane article that we have not yet seen (check this column in our next issue).
Kim, Y.-D. & R. K. Jansen. 1998. Chloroplast DNA restriction site variation and phylogeny of the Berberidaceae. Amer. J. Bot. 85: 1766--1778.
This study is inconclusive with respect to the only issue of interest to us, viz., whether to treat Mahonia separately or as a synonym of Berberis. Although the published cladogram portrays Berberis as nested within a paraphyletic Mahonia, the authors assert that "more extensive sampling of both genera is needed to resolve generic circumscriptions."
Luer, C. A. 1998. Systematics of Pleurothallis sections Abortivae, Truncatae and Pleurothallis subsections Acroniae and Amphygiae [sic] (Orchidaceae). Pp. 1--64 in, C. A. Luer, Icones pleurothallidinarum XVII. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 72: 1--121.
According to the author's classification, Pleurothallis consists of no fewer than 29 subgenera. The three sections dealt with here make up Pleurothallis subgen. Pleurothallis, which (judging from this incomplete treatment) appears centered in Andean South America. The monotypic sects. Abortivae and Truncatae do not reach Central America. Section Pleurothallis comprises six subsections, just two of which, subsect. Acroniae and subsect. Pleurothallis, are treated here. The remaining four subsections are promised for later, although two of their names are here newly published. Subsection Acroniae includes 46 spp. apportioned in two series: ser. Acroniae, with 21 spp., and ser. Amphygiae (or is it Amphigyae?), with 25 spp. Only the former is represented in Costa Rica, by six spp., of which two (Pleurothallis dentipetala Rolfe ex Ames and P. imitor Luer) are endemic. Subsection Pleurothallis includes just 12 spp., with only the widespread P. ruscifolia (Jacq.) R. Br. (the generic type) definitely recorded from Costa Rica. Seven new spp. are described in this paper, though none from Costa Rica. The title of the paper is puzzling and appears to incorporate at least one outright error: "Amphygiae" should be replaced by "Pleurothallis" (unless we are more confused than we realize). Includes a key to all the sections and subsections series of subgen. Pleurothallis, plus separate keys to the spp. of subsects. Acroniae and Pleurothallis. This and the following two contributions feature detailed sp. descriptions, citations of exsiccatae, line drawings of all spp., and indices to scientific names.
----. 1998. Systematics of Pleurothallis subgenus Dracontia (Orchidaceae). Pp. 65--85 in, C. A. Luer, Icones pleurothallidinarum XVII. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 72: 1--121.
Unlike Pleurothallis subgen. Pleurothallis (see above), subgenera Dracontia and Unciferia (see below) are heavily represented, if not centered, in southern Central America. The 18 spp. of subgen. Dracontia are here newly classed in three sections: Dracontia (15 spp.), Brobdingnagia Luer (2 spp.), and Cylindria Luer (1 sp.). Although the sections are keyed, the sp. treatments are mixed in strict alphabetical order. Of the 13 spp. here attributed to Costa Rica, eight are endemic: Pleurothallis conochila Luer, P. dracontea Luer, P. grandis Rolfe, P. ingramii Luer, P. papillifera Rolfe, P. perennis Luer, P. ramonensis Schltr., and P. tintinnabula Luer. An additional (14th) sp., P. carnosilabia A. H. Heller & A. D. Hawkes, is vouchered in the Manual data-base. Our spp. all belong to sect. Dracontia, except for P. grandis and P. powellii Schltr. (sect. Brobdingnagia) and P. macrantha L. O. Williams (sect. Cylindria). No new spp. are described herein.
----. 1998. Systematics of Pleurothallis subgenus Unciferia (Orchidaceae). Pp. 87--121 in, C. A. Luer, Icones pleurothallidinarum XVII. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 72: 1--121.
This taxon, formerly a section of Pleurothallis subgen. Specklinia, here achieves subgeneric rank for the first time. The total of 10 spp. includes seven represented in Costa Rica. Four of the latter are believed endemic: Pleurothallis bifalcis Schltr., P. kareniae Luer, P. pilostoma Luer, and P. psilantha Luer (the last here described as new).
Maquet, A. & J.-P. Baudoin. 1997. Aperçu de la distribution néotropicale de Phaseolus lunatus. Belgian J. Bot. 130: 93--116.
A survey of the New World distribution of Phaseolus lunatus L. (Fabaceae: Papilionoideae), based primarily on literature records. Two "gene pools" are recognized, the Andean and the more widepread Mesoamerican, as well as three "botanical forms": wild, weedy, and cultivated (i.e., the Lima bean of commerce). Both wild and cultivated forms of the Mesoamerican type are represented in Costa Rica, along with a weedy form of unknown type. The wild form occurs only on the Pacific slope, at 100--1800 m elevation. The habitat is described as clearings in dense evergreen and deciduous forest, with average annual rainfall of 1400--3000 mm. Maps depict the distribution of P. lunatus throughout the Neotropics, and details of the distribution within each country are provided in a tabular format.
Morrone, O., F. O. Zuloaga, M. O. Arriaga, R. Pozner & S. S. Aliscioni. 1998. Revisión sistemática y análisis cladístico del género Chaetium (Poaceae: Panicoideae: Paniceae). Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 85: 404--424.
The cladistic analysis, using morphological and anatomical characters, affirms this small neotropical genus as monophyletic. One of the three spp. is Cuban, another is Mesoamerican, and the third is restricted to northern South America. As per all recent floristic treatments, only Chaetium bromoides (J. Presl) Benth. ex Hemsl. is represented in Costa Rica. Includes a cladogram and data matrix, light and SEM micrographs of anatomical and micromorphological features, distribution map, key to spp. and tabular presentation of anatomical differences, full descriptions, representative specimen citations, excellent line drawings, and index to exsiccatae.
Muasya, A. M., D. A. Simpson, M. W. Chase & A. Culham. 1998. An assessment of suprageneric phylogeny in Cyperaceae using rbcL DNA sequences. Pl. Syst. Evol. 211: 257--271.
The cladistic analysis "supports [a] broader circumscription of Cyperus," i.e., to include at least Kyllinga and Pycreus, and perhaps even Oxycaryum (Torulinium is nowhere mentioned). Little light is shed on the classification of tribe Scirpeae.
Nelson Sutherland, C. H. & F. J. Fernández Casas. 1998. De flora hondurensi notulæ, præcipue nomenclaturales. II. Fontqueria 52: 1--3.
This paper exists for the sole purpose of informing us that the correct author citation for Echinodorus tenellus (Alismataceae) should be "(Schult. f. ex Schult. & Schult. f.) Buchenau," as opposed to "(Schult. f. ex Mart.) Buchenau," while that for Nectandra cuspidata (Lauraceae) should be "Nees & Mart.," instead of "Nees" alone. The evidence presented seems to support these interpretations. For the record, Garrett Crow's Manual contribution treats E. tenellus as a synonym of E. bolivianus (Rusby) Holm-Nielsen.
Paclt, J. 1998. (1378) Proposal to conserve the name Celastrus (Celastraceae) as being of feminine gender. Taxon 47: 879--880.
As in the case of Euonymus [see The Cutting Edge 5(4): 7, Oct. 1998], Celastrus is a classically feminine name that was treated as masculine by Linnaeus, and variously by subsequent authors. The author of the proposal notes that "Botanical tradition...has not yet entirely re-established the classical feminine gender" of Celastrus, which thus seems to fall between the cracks of Art. 62.1 (indecisive even by the standards of the Code). The author closes with the disturbing observation that "Rejecting [the present proposal]...cannot prevent continued use of feminine by classically oriented botanists." He avoids mention of the obvious corollary, that recommendation of the proposal cannot prevent continued use of masculine gender by other botanists so inclined. After all, there is not yet a nomenclatural Gestapo! And even if there were, "recommendations" can be appealed and overturned, years down the road and (apparently) time and time again (see under Brummitt, above). So, what are these proposals all about? Is this the road to nomenclatural stability? [Our Unsolicited View #4: tighten up the Code so that it takes an clear and firm stand on every conceivable issue; forget these ad hoc proposals, and do away with endless committee decisions that foster (rather than avert) nomenclatural chaos. Make these decisions simple, automatic, and final, easily implemented by any monographer or flora writer. Power to the people! Priority über alles! Conservation is Pandora's Box. To paraphrase an ancient Turkish proverb (in translation): "No matter how far you have gone down the wrong path, turn back!"]
Pipoly, J. J., III & J. M. Ricketson. 1998. A revision of the genus Ardisia subgenus Graphardisia (Myrsinaceae). Sida 18: 433--472.
This group of three spp. and five subspp. ranges from Nicaragua to Bolivia and Brazil. Three new combinations are here validated, four names are lectotypified, and 21 names are newly synonymized. Ardisia subgen. Graphardisia is contrasted with A. subgen. Icacorea, to which it is believed most closely related. The only sp. of A. subgen. Graphardisia occurring in Costa Rica is the widespread and familiar Ardisia opegrapha Oerst., represented by three subspp.: subsp. opegrapha,of the Pacific slope, subsp. wagneri (Mez) Pipoly & Ricketson, of the Atlantic slope, and the endemic subsp. paquitensis (Lundell) Pipoly & Ricketson, mainly of the Pacific slope. Features an emended subgeneric description, a key to spp. and subspp., complete synonymy and typology, comprehensive specimen citations, detailed line drawings of all taxa, and an index to exsiccatae.
---- & ----. 1998. New names and combinations in neotropical Myrsinaceae. Sida 18: 503--517.
Inspired, apparently, by Morales's recent paper [Phytologia 83: 109--112. 1998 ('1997'); see The Cutting Edge 5(4): 7, Oct. 1998], the authors here validate necessary new combinations and names previously published invalidly, according to Art. 34.1 of the Code, by Lundell (Phytologia 48: 137--142. 1981; Phytologia 61: 62--68. 1986). They also effect five new combinations in Ardisia for Lundell names never transferred from Icacorea. Because transfers are made only for accepted names, and because synonymy is indicated for all concerned names not transferred, we gain some insight into the taxonomic concepts presumably to be employed in the authors' upcoming Flora mesoamericana treatment. Myrsine calcarata (Lundell) Ricketson & Pipoly, one of the two rectified combinations in Myrsine, is a Costa Rican element not presently represented in the Manual database. At least seven of the 27 rectified combinations in Ardisia also pertain to Costa Rican spp. unknown to us by these names [author citation as "(Lundell) Pipoly & Ricketson" in each case]: Ardisia alajuelae, A. guanacastensis, A. guinealensis, A. latisepala, A. monteverdeana, A. triangula, and A. utleyi. The same can be said of at least five of the nine rectified nomina nova (author citation as "Pipoly & Ricketson" in each case): Ardisia albipedicellata, A. azaharensis, A. dryeri (sic; must be corrected to "dryerae"), A. parvidenticulata, and A. warneri. Ardisia mesoamericana Pipoly & Ricketson nom. nov. is coined for Icacorea latisepala Lundell, not previously transferred to Ardisia, in which the epithet latisepala is preoccupied (see above). This sp. presumably occurs in Costa Rica, because the type is from Cerro Echandi, "Panama"(but on the international boundary).
Pruski, J. F. 1998. Compositae of the Guayana Highland--XIII. New combinations in Conyza (Astereae), Praxelis (Eupatorieae), and Riencourtia (Heliantheae) based on names proposed by L. C. M. Richard. Brittonia 50: 473--482.
Pruski rocks us yet again. Now, the widespread weed known generally as Conyza apurensis Kunth must instead be called C. laevigata (Rich.) Pruski. The new combination is based on Erigeron laevigatus Rich., here lectotypified.
Schatz, G. E. 1998. New species of Sapranthus B. C. Seemann and Unonopsis R. E. Fries (Annonaceae) from Mesoamerica. Novon 8: 436--440.
The impending publication of Doug Stevens's Flora de Nicaragua yields more dividends for our Manual project. Sapranthus viridiflorus G. E. Schatz, first recognized as distinct by its author at the Estación Biológica La Selva 15 years ago, is now known by a large number of collections from southeastern Nicaragua to central Panama (Península de Azuero), including both slopes of Costa Rica. The new sp. is distinct within the genus in its reduced flowers with green (rather than reddish to deep purple) petals, without evident venation. These and other floral differences are interpreted as paedomorphic adaptations to a wet forest habitat, in a genus otherwise characteristic of Pacific dry forests. Unonopsis stevensii G. E. Schatz, the other new sp. described here, is restricted to the Barra del Colorado region of extreme northeastern Costa Rica. It is compared with U. panamensis R. E. Fr., found on the Pacific slope of Costa Rica and south to the Canal Area of Panama. Features generous descriptions and exsiccatae citations. Both new spp. are illustrated with black-and-white photos, and a URL is provided for accessing color photos over the World Wide Web.
Whitehouse, C. 1998. (1375) Proposal to conserve the name Boerhavia diffusa (Nyctaginaceae) with a conserved type. Taxon 47: 873--874.
Neither the lectotype nor any of the available alternatives correspond to the prevailing usage of this well-known name, i.e., for a sp. with terminal, paniculate inflorescences. Conservation with a new type embodying these features is thus proposed. If this proposal is not recommended, the name Boerhavia paniculata Rich will probably have to be taken up for the sp. now called B. diffusa L., and the latter name will replace the widely accepted B. coccinea Mill.
Zhang, X.-C. & H. P. Nooteboom. 1998. A taxonomic revision of Plagiogyriaceae (Pteridophyta). Blumea 43: 401--469.
Plagiogyria, the only genus, is best represented in South and East Asia, to which 10 of the 11 spp. accepted in this treatment are restricted. All of the New World material is referred to a single sp., Plagiogyria pectinata (Liebm.) Lellinger. The authors, with an Old World focus, "refrain from evaluating the variation of the American Plagiogyria." Given that admission, it is difficult to imagine how they might have formulated any rational species concepts for the New World. Thus, we will continue to follow the more critical regional treatment of D. B. Lellinger (Flora mesoamericana 1: 84--85. 1995), which recognizes three Plagiogyria spp. in the Mesoamerican region: P. pectinata, of Mexico and Guatemala; P. costaricensis Mett. ex Kuhn, of Costa Rica and South America; and P. semicordata (C. Presl) H. Christ, widespread throughout the Neotropics. Keys (non-indented) to all spp. and vars., complete synonymy and typology, generous descriptions, photographs of herbarium specimens and SEM pollen micrographs, distribution maps, sections on hybrids and dubious and excluded names, and indices to exsiccatae and scientific names. No formal specimen citations.
 

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